April 13th, 2010
04:00 PM ET

Around the Web: Militants still active in Marjah, report says

Despite the offensive aimed at rooting out the Taliban in the Afghan city of Marjah earlier this year, militants there continue to “plant bombs and intimidate civilians,” report Tony Perry and Laura King of the Los Angeles Times.

“Security for Afghan villagers remains precarious in the Marjah district of Helmand province, where U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers mounted a massive assault in February to oust the Taliban from control, according to the Marine general who led the assault,” they write.

“Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said late Sunday that while there are hopeful signs in Marja, with Afghan police patrolling and farmers signing up to grow crops other than opium poppy, the mission's success or failure may not be known for months.”

At Foreign Affairs, Zalmay Khalilzad – a former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan – has a list of books to read about Afghan politics.

“The struggle for Afghanistan may be the most important and challenging geopolitical and moral issue facing the United States and the world at large today,” he writes. “The books below illuminate the main factors that will help determine the struggle's outcome.”

Some other news reports and perspectives:

- Karen DeYoung and Griff Witte (Washington Post): “A closer look at the divisions within Pakistan

- Elisabeth Bumiller (New York Times): “Kazakhstan to permit military overflights to Afghanistan

- Gordon Lubold (Christian Science Monitor): “For good of Afghanistan war, U.S. seeks truce with Hamid Karzai

- Adam B. Ellick (New York Times): “Bootlegging, Pakistan-Style

soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. A Marine Mom

    I agree with AJ Sprigg completly....let us mourn our fallen heros with dignaty and a quiet respect. Making a feeding frenzy out of such a selfless and patriotic act is absolutly appalling. They should be ashamed.

    April 15, 2010 at 11:14 am | Report abuse |
  2. roland

    This are just basic thoughts. Taliban live with Afghan for centuries. If that happens its ideology, religion, belief, relationaship and practices were mostly adopted there.This is why there is an Afghan taliban and Pakistani Taliban. If we look close where this taliban came from, its more likely through its citizens. Karzai himself warns USA and allies that he might join the Taliban. Therefore having them seen in Marjah and anywhere in Afghanistan is more likely. They are more likely afghan taliban recruits.

    April 15, 2010 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
  3. Aaron

    wow danel lear you history dude

    April 14, 2010 at 11:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Eric

    Brig. Gen. Larry Nicholson said late Sunday that while there are hopeful signs in Marja, with Afghan police patrolling and farmers signing up to grow crops other than opium poppy, the mission's success or failure may not be known for months.”
    HA HA HA .......the pale face speaks with a forked tongue!!! Previous reports hailed the success of the western troops in taking over Marjah. From what the Brig. Gen. is saying this misadventure in Marja could also be a failure. Is he preparing the American public to acknowledge the utter defeat and failure of the western troops in Marja.......Nay them western cowboys have not only failed in Marja but have failed in the whole of Afghanistan. The Taliban are in firm control of their country.

    April 14, 2010 at 10:13 am | Report abuse |
  5. Iraq Paramedic

    Daniel I am amused at your comparisons but I do like reading your comments. Dan Lafayette, I have read a couple of your comments & you are insightfull & informed.
    Now, what did everybody expect, that as soon as the Marines got in that the Taliban would just roll over & play dead, please!! We gave them advanced notice so they could plan an orderly withdrawl & wait us out, like they did the soveits, & then they will simply return. This was a bad mistake because the leaders & heavy hitters simple went to another location & left the pawns to pester the invading forces, simple chess move. Yes keeping a high moral standing in the war is a good thing to a point, when the enemy is useing your moral standings to their success against you it is time to take the gloves off for a while & simply destroy them. I know there are going to be civilian casualties but, the Taliban & drug lords inflict death & destruction on whoever does not conform to there way of life & they don't compensate the victims at all. Another factor is Hamid & Wali Kharzi, 2 peas in a pod, they need to be taken out of the picture & put a real man or woman who cares about the people & the country in power.
    The Taliban will be as the insurgents here in Iraq, beat into hiding but not down or out.
    May GOD Bless & keep us all !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 14, 2010 at 3:14 am | Report abuse |
  6. Smith in Oregon

    US Military officials have handed out ten's of thousands of American taxpayer dollars to the villagers of Marjah and Gen. McChrystal has poured in thousands of his 'shake and bake' Afghanistan Police and Security forces into Marjah, along with a new 'shake and bake' governor to watch over Marjah.

    Sadly, as the UK stated from day one that 'shake and bake' governments would not succeed in Afghanistan. The residents of Marjah do not trust President Karzai's Afghanistan Police and Security forces and given the criminal background on the new Marjah 'governor' they probably do not trust him to operate in the best interests of the Marjah people.

    Gen. McChrystal is using his Marjah shake and bake cookie cutter approach for Kandahar and it is clearly sadly lacking in success in Marjah. When you fail General, you adjust your approach or you continue to fail in ever larger ways.

    April 14, 2010 at 12:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. Abdulameer

    Of course, the "militants" are still active in Marjah. The "militants" are very religious Moslems who are endeavoring to establish an Islamic regime. They certainly have more support among the religious Moslem population of Afghanistan than we, non-Moslems, do. The Koran teaches all Moslems that we, non-Moslems, are their enemy. That is a fundamental teaching of their Islamic religion, and there is nothing we can do about that no matter how nice and generous we are to them. We can never win their hearts and minds. We should get out.

    April 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan Lafayette,IN

    Daniel are you equating the Taliban with the French? The French did not put on suicide vests to kill innocent people and while they ruled their country they did not prohibit women from going to school nor did they shoot their law breakers in the head in a public forum! No Daniel the French do not have one thing in common with the terrorist organization called the Taliban!

    April 13, 2010 at 6:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Daniel

    Didn't the French do the same thing during WW2 against the Germans?The French and the Taliban do seem to have one thing in common,both dislike foreign rule.

    April 13, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |

    We found coverage of 'LAPD Officer killed in Afghanistan…' verging on disgusting. Thousands mourning one individual just highlights the myopic vision apparently possessed by many Americans. We sympathize with the family and friends of this fallen comrade; however, we find such a highly attended and publicized memorial service lacking respect for the thousands who have already paid the ultimate price or were maimed/wounded while performing similar duties and responsibilities as Sergeant Major Cottle.

    April 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |